Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Suspicious Device Delays Plane At SA Airport"

Hey, I understand the lure of taking things apart and putting them back together, whether it is to fix an item or just to see how it works. But perhaps it might be a good idea to leave such items at home, especially if you plan to travel by airplane.

KSAT-12 has the news on the delayed flight:

SAN ANTONIO -- A United Airlines flight bound for Washington, D.C., was delayed for nearly five hours at the San Antonio International Airport after Transportation Security Agency officials became suspicious of a passenger and a device in his luggage.

TSA officials became suspicious of a device with wires during a check about 11:15 a.m., airport spokesman David Hebert said. The device turned out to be a re-assembled MP3 player, Hebert said. A further check of the passenger brought up information TSA officials wanted to look into further, which delayed the flight, he said.

Passengers on the original plane were forced to disembark while authorities searched the airplane. After the man was cleared by the FBI and TSA, the passengers were placed on another plane and [were] scheduled to leave about 5:30 p.m. [emphasis added]

Why would anyone need to reassemble an MP3 player (they're not really that expensive to replace, assuming it is a basic player), except for the curiosity? If that's all it is, then don't take the thing on an airplane. Airport officials get nervous about suspicious electronic items, and I'm not surprised they had a closer look. Please, have a heart for your fellow passengers, who just want to get to their destination.

UPDATE: Oh, there's more to it than just an MP3 player, as the Express-News reports:

Security was able to determine that the electronics inside the man’s carry-on luggage were not explosive devices, but his checked-in luggage also drew attention, Hebert said. Several items, which Hebert did not disclose, inside in [sic] the man’s checked-in baggage were deemed suspicious.

“There was [sic] some other things (inside his luggage) they don’t want me to list,” he said.

The man was also questioned because of what authorities described as his “bizarre” travel plans.

He had just arrived in San Antonio from Dallas for a brief lay over before trying to board the direct flight to Washington D.C., Hebert said.

No wonder they took notice of him. Who ever heard of a connecting flight from Dallas to San Antonio? Dallasites fly direct.


Dave said...

Dare I be the first to say: Kudos to TSA?


Keith Alan K said...

You might be the very first, Dave.

I wonder about the confidence and/or skill levels of our SA personnel if they take this long to clear a chunk of dumb.

Anonymous said...

Yeah why did it took them so long to be sure something's wrong?